Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/23/07

Videographer a public TV pioneer
by Chris Nichols
The Union Democrat

There is no typical day for Avery resident Paul Moeller, the longtime freelance videographer and co-founder of Calaveras Community Television. The 79-year-old’s busy filming schedule takes him across the county nearly every day, chronicling events and performances from local fairs to high school sports to traveling choirs. For the past 26 years, Moeller has done all his work for free. >>>

The Cable Guys
Two stalwarts demonstrate what public-access television can do
By Dan Kennedy
Winter 2007

It may not be etched in stone, but it’s a rule nonetheless: No one can write about public-access television without making reference to “Wayne’s World,” the Saturday Night Live skit—later a movie—about an access show starring two high-school-age stoners who prattle on about the heavy metal they can’t play and the sex they haven’t had. If you don’t believe me, try Googling “public access” and “Wayne’s World,” and you’ll see what I mean.

Not only that but you can’t even talk to people involved in access TV without the Mike Myers–Dana Carvey stereotype creeping in. That’s what I discovered when I set out to write this story about Joe Heisler, Chris Lovett, and Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN), the city’s public-access system. Heisler hosts a weekly political talk show. Lovett anchors a nightly newscast. Both they and their programs are well-regarded. But “Wayne’s World” hangs over the whole operation like a cloud. >>>

Olympia’s Town Hall Meeting on Impeach a Huge Success
by Mollie
Portland Independent Media Center

Olympia’s Constitution in Crisis: The Case for Impeachment drew over 800 people, almost filling the Washington Center on Tuesday, February 20, 2007. Elizabeth de la Vega, David Lindorff and Ray McGovern made compelling arguments about the need to impeach Bush/Cheney. Each stressed that impeachment is necessary to restore the Constitution. >>> Deb Vinsel, Director of TCTV, the local public access TV station, moderated the event, including the panel discussion and the Q&A session. The tape will be aired on TCTV and hopefully will be posted on indymedia as well as other internet sites.

Media Minutes
Featured speakers/guests: Jeff Chester

State-by-state battles are shaping up over video franchising and net neutrality. A new book warns about a hypercommercialized digital media future. And Congress begins debate on legislation requiring ISPs to track their users. This (5 minute audio) program is free for all to air; many thanks to those who do!

Public-access cable would give citizens a voice
by Nadine Patterson
Letter to the Editor
Philadelphia Inquirer

Thank you for highlighting the ongoing struggle to obtain a public-access cable station in Philadelphia (“Dead air,” Feb. 6). In a multimedia world, citizen-run television and media literacy for all is essential. Cable television’s world of 500 channels has not fulfilled the promise of diversity and greater variety in terms of content. We have dozens of cooking channels, shopping channels, and entertainment channels. The C-SPANs of the cable world are few and far between. In places where there is public access, citizens gain insight into their community, learn new technological skills to make their own television, and gain a voice in the media landscape. The potential for good from public access far outweighs any negative. >>>

Cable competition pushed
Legislation touted as way to save consumers money
By Adriana Colinders
State Journal-Register

>>> One of the bill’s skeptics is Barbara Popovic, who represents a coalition called Keep Us Connected. She said her group favors increased cable competition, yet has reservations about the proposal unveiled Thursday. Coalition members – including nonprofit organizations, municipalities and public access television stations – are concerned that a company could opt to provide video service in some areas but not in others, she said. “How do you accomplish competition if everyone doesn’t have to be served?” asked Popovic, who works as executive director of Chicago Access Network Television. She said she also fears that Brosnahan’s bill could threaten the future of public-access stations. >>>

Cable oversight bill advances in House
by Bill Cotterell
Florida Today

TALLAHASSEE – — Despite a plea by state Rep. Curtis Richardson and two prominent Tallahassee black leaders to slow down, and concerns over its impact on consumers, a House council Thursday approved a heavily lobbied plan that would let the state take over licensing of cable television franchises from city and county governments. Richardson joined former Leon County Commissioner Anita Davis, a longtime NAACP activist, and the Rev. R.B. Holmes in warning that the pending proposal, HB 529, might wind up limiting communication choices in poor neighborhoods. >>>

Verizon Workers Fight Rural Telecom Redlining In New England
By Steve Early
Union Librarian (Feb 07, issue of Labor Notes)

“We are not going to let Verizon turn the information super highway into a dirt road in New England, ” vows IBEW Local 2320 business manager Glenn Brackett. >>>

Telecom Stalemate and Eminent Domain Fight Loom
by Lincoln Shurtz
Lincoln’s Legislative bLOG

>>> After a short meeting with many of the cable franchise stakeholders and the two powerful legislators (Senator Curt Bramble and Representative Steve Urquhart) who happen to be on opposite sides of the cable franchise debate, it appears that a stalemate on the issue will be unavoidable. >>>

Davis Media Access new name for Davis media center
by Autumn Labbe-Renault

DAVIS, CA–Davis Community Television (DCTV), which operates public access channel 15 on the Comcast cable system and low-power radio station KDRT 101.5 FM—announced a new name for the media
organization. Henceforth, the organization will be called Davis Media Access (DMA). >>>

Review of Cox cable franchise urged
Price, service are issues in St. Charles
by Matt Scallan

Beset by complaints about changes in cable television service in St. Charles Parish, the Parish Council on Monday will consider forming a committee to review its franchise agreement with Cox Communications as well as a resolution urging the administration of parish President Albert Laque to actively seek competition for the company. >>> As part of the agreement, Cox allocates two public access channels to the parish, one for parish government and one for the School Board, and provides employees and equipment to videotape parish meetings. >>>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, citizen journalism, community media, democracy, PEG access TV, public access television, redlining, user-generated content, video franchising

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